Alimony, also known as spousal support or maintenance, is a legal obligation one person may have to provide financial support to their spouse during or after a divorce. As a seasoned Missouri family law attorney, I aim to provide you with a clear understanding of how alimony is determined in Missouri.
Alimony in Missouri
In Missouri, alimony is not guaranteed. It is awarded at the discretion of the court and is typically considered after the marital property has been divided.
Factors Considered in Determining Alimony
The court will consider a variety of factors when determining alimony, including:
1. Financial Resources: The court looks at the financial resources of the spouse seeking maintenance, including marital property and child support.
2. Time and Training: The court considers the time necessary for the spouse seeking maintenance to acquire education, training, or employment.
3. Earning Capacity: The court evaluates each spouse's earning capacity, taking into account elements like age, physical and emotional health, and work history.
4. Standard of Living: The standard of living established during the marriage is another consideration in determining alimony.
5. Behaviors and Misconduct: In some cases, the court may consider misconduct by either spouse during the marriage. However, Missouri primarily follows a no-fault divorce law, so this factor isn't always significant.
6. Length of the Marriage: The duration of the marriage can influence the amount and duration of alimony awarded.
The duration of alimony in Missouri varies and can be temporary, short-term, or long-term. It usually depends on the length of the marriage and other circumstances of the case.
Modifications and Termination
In Missouri, alimony payments can be modified or terminated based on significant changes in circumstances. For instance, if the paying spouse loses their job, or if the recipient spouse gets remarried, alimony can be adjusted or terminated.
Determining alimony in Missouri involves many factors and can be a complex process. A skilled Missouri family law attorney can provide valuable guidance and represent your interests in the court.